Like many other students and new grads, you may be looking for ways to trim your spending. But it’s not just about spending less, now is a great time to review your budget, because making smart financial decisions now will help you prepare for the future.
To stay in control of your money, review your spending plan regularly. If money has been feeling tight lately, here are a few tips to help maximize your budget:
#1 — Be mindful about your spending
You knew this was going to be #1, right? That’s because finding smart ways to cut back on your spending now will help set you up for later!
Before each purchase, ask yourself if you need it or want it. Try asking yourself these three questions before each purchase:
- Will this purchase make you happy?
- Is this a purchase that you will value later?
- Will you or your recipient use it?
Also, comparison shop before you buy. There are lots of online tools to help you compare prices or provide price tracking info for the items in your shopping cart. And take advantage of loyalty programs. Loyalty programs or rewards can help reduce your total bill at checkout, purchase gift certificates, or get products at your favourite stores.
#2 — Be ruthless with your subscriptions and services
Review all the subscriptions linked to your credit card or bank account (especially those that have been authorized for automatic payments).
- Let go of any subscriptions that are duplicates or you don’t use regularly — yes, it may be time to cancel that second streaming service.
- Check to see if you are eligible for a student account or if family subscription plans are available. If family or dual subscription plans are available, talk to your friends and family to see who else wants to save.
- Negotiate recurring fees. Call your service providers to see if you may be able to able to negotiate down the fees for your internet, phone, or subscriptions. You will be surprised at the positive impact it will have on your budget; month over month the savings will really add up.
- Find free entertainment at your library. It might sound crazy, but many libraries offer digital collections, allowing you to use your library card to access movies, music, online books, comics, online learning, and more.
#3 — Pay attention to your budget and update it often
Stay vigilant with your budget. Try setting a reoccurring alert on your calendar to remind you to review your budget regularly. Keeping a print copy of your budget on your desk for quick reference can also be helpful. Using an AI tool like NOMI (available within the RBC Mobile1 app) can also give you relevant insights to help you adjust your budget according to your habits and identify opportunities to save.
Every dollar counts and practicing these tips can help you maximize your budget and stay on top of your money. You’ve got this!
1 RBC Mobile is operated by Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Direct Investing Inc. and RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC Mobile Student Edition is intended for clients under the age of 22, visit rbc.com/rbcmobilestudent for details.
This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.